London's Pulse: Medical Officer of Health reports 1848-1972

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Dagenham 1957

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Dagenham]

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The proportion of these in the full survey of 85 children is not exactly the same because the full list includes some with minor degrees of disability who will need no special provisions either before or after they come of school age.

Date of birthDefect and degree of disabilityHome conditionsno. in family and whether neglected or not—degree of parental understandingResponse to nursery proposal
1. 11. 12. 55Epileptic. Mental retardation. Unable to sit without support. Heavy child.Good-private house, 3 bedrooms, 2 living rooms.1 brother aged 16 years. 1 sister aged 11 years. No neglect. Help and understanding from the family. Early rejection of the problem. Now full understanding and good mothering.Mother finds looking after this child tiring. Would welcome nursery relief and training.
2. 19 .8. 52.Mongol-high grade- and associated poor muscle tone. Walks and plays.GoodComplete rejection of the problem of this boy's backwardness by the parents. Mother still not reconciled.Mother requested ordinary day nursery accommodation but this child would be unsuitable except in handicapped nursery.
3. 27. 8. 51. Although 6 years old this child is comparable with a 2 year old.Partially sighted: congenital cataracts. Mongol. Walked at 5½ years.Good-Council house.1 infant brother -now difficult to manage with the defective child. Full understanding by the parents of this child.Requested nursery accommodation two years ago. Cannot give adequate training-especially physiotherapy at home.
4. 12. 5. 57.Cleft palate. Hare lip and? mental retardation. Gross physical retardation.Very poor indeed. Council house. Inadequate housewifery.6 other children all neglected. (1 recently died partly due to neglect). Parents very poor type. Unable to manage.M.O. advised admission to ordinary day nursery as this child cannot be adequately cared for at home.
5. 2. 11. 52.Partially deaf. No speech. Partially psychogenic.Live with mother-in-law. Marked domestic tension.No other children. Parents do not understand the nature of the speech defect.Would welcome special training in nursery but refuse the concept of special schooling.
6. 6. 10. 53.Poliomyelitis. Right side para-lysis. Wears caliper. Manages disability very well.Good.No neglect. Mothering excellent. Child given every encouragement to overcome defect.Child requests nursery admission-says she wants to play with other children. Not able to do so at home because of disability.
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